Going into this week Smackdown may have been the more appealing show for people that watch WWE television religiously. Most of the booking is done to please hardcore fans, so why wouldn’t they be excited for this episode? I know I was, and for the most part, it delivered.
After the way Orton vs Wyatt went, I can’t say I was overly enthused about Orton opening the show.
With his strong delivery, Orton made the most of this promo. Even though most of the arena was booing him, it didn’t seem to affect the context. As for Bray, his announcement for the “house of horrors” match had me excited. I don’t know what it’s supposed to be, but hopefully it’s something different and creative.
This is one segment where Bray needed to come out on top. Seeing him and the returning Rowan get bested by Orton and Harper was anticlimactic.
Alexa Bliss vs Naomi
Bliss vs Naomi isn’t something that’s been spammed since the start of their feud, so it was a great way to open the show. With the superstar shake up coming, this could last time these two meet in a while, which made the logic behind this rematch sound.
In a match that actually mattered, it was annoying how the crowd chanted stuff that was unrelated. Thankfully it came to an end towards the end of the match.
These two actually put forth a killer match. The back and forth was strong because it showed that the title was anybody’s to win. Naomi especially looked great here. Overall, it turned out to be a great way to showcase the women on this episode.
Tye Dillinger vs Curt Hawkins
Dillinger taking a loss at Takeover was a clear cut sign that he was being called up. However, that’s not something I saw coming. Sometimes us fans get so caught up in the big NXT names, that we forget about the talented mid cards that deserve a spot on the main roster.
The match wasn’t long, but it was a fun way to introduce Tye to Smackdown. At least this way the fans in attendance could chant “10” with it making sense for the show.
The Miz/Maryse Promo/ Shinsuke Nakamura Debut
I’m not going to lie, I actually thought Cena was coming out when his music went off. However, I’m glad it was the Miz dressed up as Cena, because like the first few times, it was hilarious.
Many of us had a belief Nakamura would debut sometime soon, but nobody knew where in the show he’d fit. That just made his entrance a mark out moment. His debut on the main roster was simply a thing of beauty. Everything from him interrupting the Miz and violinist playing his song was perfect. He didn’t have to say anything, because his presence was enough to steal the show.
Good on the WWE for knowing what crowd and show to debut him in front of.
Baron Corbin vs Dean Ambrose
Considering how large the Mania card was, it only made sense to save the street fight between these two for this show. It gave the two more time and importance.
These two didn’t waste any time, which was awesome. From the very start, Corbin and Ambrose worked some wicked spots, which only added to the intensity of the feud. Their match at Mania was good, but this was a better showcase of their hatred for one another. .
The insertion of the leather strap was a good idea, because it’s something different, and it looks like it can hurt. I thought that only added to the other big weapon spots.
There was no way Corbin was going to lose two matches in a row. It just wouldn’t make sense for his character. Also, why have the rematch so soon if the result was going to be the same? I for one am in total support of this, as it officially brought Corbin up another notch.
Shane McMahon/AJ Styles Promo
I guess we can consider this to be AJ Styles’ babyface turn. He cut a humbled promo, and it was a fresh moment for him. Sure, he may have only been a heel for 7-8 months, but it only made this babyface turn feel more special.
Randy Orton & Luke Harper vs Bray Wyatt & Eric Rowan
By the time this match came around, it was the coldest part of the show. Their opening segment wasn’t strong enough to warrant a main event. Along with that, we just saw tag match main event Raw, did we need to see it on Smackdown as well?
In short, this came across as a lazy main event that didn’t progress the Wyatt-Orton feud by that much. This may have been a good time to introduce a new Wyatt Family member, but it was wasted for a pointless finish.
Smackdown may not have been as explosive as Raw, but it should’ve left most fans happy. The majority of the show was extremely fun to watch, and it can only get better once the “superstar shakeup” occurs. The only aspect that’s floundering is the main event scene, which can hopefully be repaired heading into the next show.
The low point was undoubtedly the main event, while the high points consisted of Nakamura’s debut and Corbin vs Dean. Overall, I give this edition of Smackdown a 7/10.